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Caterham distances itself from... Caterham

NEWS STORY
03/10/2014

The sorry saga that saw two companies squabbling over the Lotus naming rights is revisited as the Caterham Group issues a statement.

As the Sheriff's Office tonight announces that the sale of items seized from the Caterham F1 team has been "put on hold pending further court hearing", the saga took another twist as former team owner Tony Fernandes attempted to distance himself from the mess.

Bringing to mind the sorry days when two groups, one led by Fernandes, battled in the courts for the right to call their team Lotus - though neither had any real connection with the legendary outfit founded by Colin Chapman - Caterham Group has tonight issued the following:

"Caterham Group wishes to clarify that, following the sale of the F1 business in July, it has no affiliation with Caterham F1 Team.

Regarding news reports today that bailiffs have removed several items from Caterham F1 Team’s Oxfordshire base, Caterham Group also wishes to assure its customers and suppliers that this action has no bearing whatsoever on the car company or any of its affiliate business arms.

Moreover, the Group wishes to reiterate that neither the Company nor any of its automotive or engineering divisions are in any financial danger. The shareholders of the Group, including co-Chairmen Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, are wholly committed to the business.

The Caterham brand name is in Formula One as a result of the Group’s former ownership of the F1 team and is being used under licence. The Caterham Group is concerned about the negativity that these circumstances, which are outside of its control, have on its brand and will continue to monitor the situation.

Caterham Group now consists of Caterham Cars, Caterham Technology & Innovation and Caterham Composites; the F1 team is now run by an unconnected consortium of Middle Eastern and Swiss investors, following its sale earlier this year.

While the Caterham F1 Team never reached its full potential, the other arms of Caterham Group – Caterham Cars, Caterham Technology & Innovation (CTI) and Caterham Composites – have continued to develop and flourish.

The order book for Caterham Cars is full until March 2015, with the Company having to ramp up production from last month to satisfy increasing and unprecedented global demand for the legendary Seven.

As Caterham Composites’ work in the aviation, marine as well as automotive sectors grows apace, CTI continues to win new third party contracts as well as the development of the new flagship Caterham two-seater sportscar, codenamed C120, amongst other projects."

As if the whole mess couldn't get any sillier, it's worth noting that the Caterham F1 team's website proudly proclaims the team to be "winners of The Business Excellence Award 2013"... we'd hate to think who finished runner-up... or last.

Chris Balfe

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